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RQ offers bonus for WFA stars

Fri 22 April 2022

The TAB Queensland Racing Carnival is poised to offer a $200,000 bonus to any horse that can secure the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes before going on to win the Group 1 Doomben Cup or Group 2 Q22.

With Stradbroke Season commencing at Eagle Farm on Saturday, Australasia’s weight-for-age stars will be further incentivised to campaign in the Sunshine State this year, with Racing Queensland previously announcing a raft of prize money increases and enhancements.

This included strengthening the middle-distance program with a $300,000 prize money increase for the Doomben Cup, which will now be run for $1 million.

Under the new bonus conditions, $150,000 will be payable to the winning owner/s, with $50,000 assigned to the winning trainer/s.

During last year’s campaign, Annabel Neasham’s stable star, Zaaki, took all before him as he claimed all three races en route to $1.44 million in prize money.

With Neasham recently confirming James McDonald will ride Zaaki in next week’s Hollindale, the three-time Group 1 winner would pocket $1.82 million this year, inclusive of the new bonus, if he was to repeat his efforts.

Standing in his way will be a raft of challengers, headlined by the Mick Price and Michael Kent-trained Ayrton, who was an early Stradbroke favourite last year, and will now step out over more ground with Hugh Bowman aboard.

“There’s genuine excitement heading into this year’s Carnival,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Vow And Declare, Incentivise and Zaaki all leave their mark on our middle-distance program.

“We want to see our weight-for-age stars campaigning all the way through Stradbroke Season and the addition of the $200,000 bonus should provide extra incentives for trainers to push on to the Doomben Cup and the Q22 after contesting the Hollindale.”

As part of this year’s enhancements, the Queensland Derby will also rise by $400,000 to $1 million to become the seventh Carnival feature to be run for a million dollars or more.

As previously announced, any eligible horse that runs first or second in the Queensland Derby or Queensland Oaks, and can then run top-three in the Q22, will also receive a $100,000 cash bonus or $250,000 QTISx voucher.

The TAB Queensland Racing Carnival commences at Eagle Farm on Saturday with the Group 2 Queensland Guineas, the Group 2 Victory Stakes and the Listed Dalrello Stakes.